Community gathers to honour Red Dress Day

Over 500 people gathered in Kiyām Community Park on Sunday, May 5, 2024, to honour and bring awareness to the thousands of Indigenous women and girls, and two-spirit people who have gone missing or who have been murdered.

The Red Dress Solidarity Walk and Memorial Round Dance was organized by the Nistawoyou Association Friendship Centre, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, and the Athabasca Tribal Council as part of the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

The day, also called, “Red Dress Day” was inspired in 2010 by Jamie Black, a Métis artist based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Black hung hundreds of empty red dresses in public places to represent missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and to bring awareness to the issue.

In the past three decades in Canada, there have been an estimated 4,000 or more cases of Indigenous women and girls who have been murdered or gone missing. This averages out to approximately 133 cases per year, or three cases per week.

During the gathering, to the sound of Indigenous Drummers, attendees called out the names of loved ones lost to tragedy. As voices shouted out the missing and exploited peoples, the crowd hushed after a child cried out, “My Dad”.

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